What is scrambling?
We couldn’t write a blog about scrambling without covering what it is first. So what is it? It’s pretty simple actually (sort of). Scrambling involves using your hands to help you ascend a slope or ridgeline in the mountains. Isn’t that like rock climbing I hear you ask? Not exactly. It’s not as technical. Scrambling is much less vertical than traditional rock climbing. With that being said, the difference between scrambling and rock climbing gets really blurry at the higher end of difficult scrambling grades.
Don’t let this startle you. Most scrambles will have easy hand and foot holds to help you get up, meaning the activity is much easier to get into than traditional climbing.
Dependent upon the difficulty of the scramble route, each path is graded upon difficulty. They are graded from one to three. Grade one is the easiest, with the difficulty gradually increasing towards grade 3. They are generally graded based upon the frequency of using your hands, grade 1 tends to involve both hands and feet. This isn’t the case in grade 3, as you will need to use your hands almost all the time to complete the route!
The equipment you need to scramble is down to personal preference, depending on the grade of the route you take. That means you don’t need climbing shoes to go scrambling. The reason for this is that it often forms part of a hiking route. It’s a great way to add an interesting segment to your hike, travelling up or down a mountain. Quick disclaimer, we aren’t recommending that you avoid safety equipment all together. People just choose not to wear a helmet when scrambling, unless they’re on a higher graded route or uncertain about their competency in their early stages of development. If you’re unsure, wear a helmet. It’s always better to be over cautious when starting out.